Hagel visits first Zumwalt class destroyer
The US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the not-yet-launched Zumwalt class destroyer he toured recently “represents the cutting-edge of our naval capabilities.”
The ship, now known as the precommissioning unit (PCU), Zumwalt, will become the USS Zumwalt, named for former Navy Adm. Elmo Zumwalt. Officials said the ship is about a year away from joining the fleet.
The Zumwalt, Navy officials explained, has highly accurate long-range weapons, an impressive power generation capability and a design emphasising “stealthy” radardefeating materials and shapes.
Hagel thanked General Dynamics and its workforce at Bath Iron Works, which will produce all three of the Zumwalt class ships planned for production. The secretary called the facility “a magnificent institution that’s been part of the security of this country for 130 years.”
The ship can generate 78 megawatts of power, and can channel it to propulsion, shipboard use and weapons systems. Officials said the guided missile destroyer is the first navy ship to be fully electrical, and it was designed to use automated systems as much as possible to decrease the number of sailors needed as crew.